25 years ago in the week of Nov. 13, 1991
GOLF COURSE FINANCES UNDER SCRUTINY — The Madera City Council will hold a special meeting tonight to consider the financial situation of the Madera Municipal Golf Course. Council members are concerned about the direction of the course, which is running at a deficit. A financial report given to the council last week showed the course to be approximately $66,000 in the red since opening in June, with more than half of that money attributed to start-up costs. The number of rounds played, sales at the pro shop, and other factors have been lower than projections. In addition, the city is looking at making payments on bonds next summer and in 1993, a prospect that has council members concerned.
MINIER HAS FOND MEMORIES AS DA — His first legal case was The Queen of England vs David Minier, and his last case, before moving up to the bench of the Chowchilla Justice Court, reaffirmed the gas chamber for a murderer he successfully prosecuted 10 years ago for the crime. After graduating from law school, Minier took some time off and traveled around the world, which is how he found himself pitted in court against the Queen. Minier was charged with trespassing in Hong Kong. He accidentally stepped across the border into Red China. Minier pled guilty but appealed the $25 fine, which he won. It was reduced to $17.
RIEPING WINS COUNTY ACADEMIC DECATHLON — If Madera High senior John Rieping takes a break from his busy schedule to stop and smell the roses, he’ll catch the sweet scent of success. “A lack of time is my main enemy,” Rieping said after being named the outstanding scholar at the county’s Academic Decathlon, only to turn around and begin studying for statewide competition. Rieping, 17, takes a full load of tough classes, including calculus, physics, advance placement English, drama, physics, economics, and advanced journalism. Rieping attended St. Joachim’s through eighth grade and said his years there instilled discipline in him.
MADERA BUSINESSMAN WILLIAM CERIONI DIES — Former owner of Cerioni’s Men’s and Ladies Wear, William “Bill” Cerioni, died Sunday in a Madera Hospital at the age of 69. A native and lifelong resident of Madera, Cerioni owned and operated Cerioni’s Men’s and Ladies Wear from 1945 to 1972. He remained active in the business with his son Jeff until his illness. He served in the U.S. Army Air Corps as a B-17 waist gunner during World War II. He was one of the founders and charter members of the Madera Golf and Country Club, a charter member of the Madera Elks Lodge and past president of the Madera 20-30 Club. He also served as a member of the Madera Rotary Club, the foreman of the Madera County Grand Jury in 1962 and 1963, and was a member of the Trinity Episcopal Church.
FATHER GUS BIDDING FAREWELL TO MADERA — Because St. Joachim’s Fr. Gus Severin loves the people of Madera, he was sorry to learn of his transfer to Sacramento, But because he loves the priesthood just as much, he’s looking forward to his new assignment. Severin came to Madera in 1973 following his first assignment as rector of the seminary at St. Joseph’s Church in Santa Cruz. Upon assuming his duties in Madera, he brought his mother with him to care for her before she died last year at the age of 90. “That’s why I stayed so long,” he said. Speaking of his reassignment, Severin said, “I think the Catholic Church is leery of personality cults. We’re always given the Army choice, you know. ‘Will you volunteer or are you just going to do it anyway?’”
50 Years Ago
Week of Nov. 13, 1966
HUNTER INJURED IN SHOOTING MISHAP — A Palo Alto man was injured during the weekend after he tried to protect his rifle from the rain and shot himself in the foot. Larry Hamilton, 27, was transported to Madera County Hospital Sunday and was later transferred to St. Agnes Hospital. The accident occurred in the area of Tijuana campground one mile below Summit Camp in Mariposa County. The area is 10 miles off Highway 41 near the Westfall Ranger Station. The victim told officers he was hunting with two other men when it began to rain. To protect the barrel of his gun, he pointed it toward the ground. As he did, the weapon discharged sending a 30-06 bullet through his foot. The bullet entered the top part of the foot at the ankle and emerged on the bottom of the foot.
RAISIN GROWERS PICKETING PACKING PLANT — A group of independent raisin growers picketed a packing plant in Fresno today to protest the price offered for California sun-dried Thompson raisins. The Fresno and Madera County growers carried signs and passed out handbills at the Bonner Packing Company. They said they would not attempt to hinder the company’s normal operations but merely wanted to protest the price offer of $230 a ton. Earlier, growers had asked that a minimum price of $250 a ton be offered. Two packers offered $240 then withdrew their offer, which was followed by Bonner’s offer of $230.
MHS BAND TO LEAD ALL-WESTERN EVENT — The Madera High band has been charged with the responsibility of starting off the 26th All-Western Band Review Saturday by being first in the parade and first in the band’s division. Madera will march 77 musicians, a drum major, six majorettes and seven letter girls. The band is competing among schools with enrollments between 1,850 and 2,290. Madera High has an enrollment of 2,143. A total of 71 bands will be in competition during the review. The letter girls will be carrying new identification letters.
BRIGHT METEOR SEEN FALLING NEAR MADERA — Madera County residents who happened to be looking toward the sky Thursday night were treated to a spectacular aerial phenomenon. The bright trail of a meteor was observed in the sky north of Madera at approximately 9:30 p.m. Several reports were received by police agencies. The Highway Patrol received calls from motorists who said it appeared to hit the ground about 10 miles from Madera and a mile or two east of Highway 99. The meteor was described as “very bright” by officials in the control towers of both Oakland and San Francisco airports.
CHIEF’S SON AND DAUGHTER INJURED — Theron Dowell, 27, and Milaun Dowell, 22, both of Southgate, son and daughter of Police Chief and Mrs. W. Horace Dowell, were injured in a four-vehicle automobile crash on the Grapevine Friday. The Dowells were injured when the car in which they were riding, driven by Richard L. Lane, 25, veered into the opposing lane of traffic and crashed into a semi-truck and trailer rig. Both Theron and Milaun Dowell are under treatment at Golden State Hospital in Newhall, where they are listed in “fair” condition. The injured persons were believed to be on the way to Madera for the weekend.